kevbaz (17th March 2011)
I went to Vegas in the Feb holidays, and had a stopover in Atlanta, where we passed through security... I had no issues, and when the security guard saw I was going to Vegas and said 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas', he cracked a grin when I replied "Except for herpes...". Obviously it will depend who you get, but they're not all uber strict :-P.
Have an awesome time - I went when I was a kid and stayed in a villa...
Don't leave any food out, or you'll get a trail of ants running everywhere...
Go to the water parks, they are amazing!
Fill your boots at the breakfast buffets (not really your boots, but ask for a box and you can fill it with cookies and stuff for the rest of the day!).
As someone suggested earlier, don't sit on the front 10 rows at seaworld, they're empty for a reason!
If you go to Animal Kingdom, go watch the 3D movie in the tree, it's great (or was 10 years ago :-P)
Remember that all the teddies and stuff you buy have to fit in your luggage - we ended up leaving a couple of massive ones as we simply couldn't fit them anywhere :-(
Try alligator - it's nice!
Hooters isn't all its cracked up to be, but worth a punt... (be careful with the drinks offers - they're usually dependant of which bar you go to and don't work when eating!)
Get a spare camera battery, you'll need it!
Don't do what my Irish friend did and go up to passport control and say "Yeah I'm just here for the crack"
Flying out ourselves on the 1st of April. First decent family holiday since we had kids. We're flying to Miami and driving up to Orlando which saved about £600 on the Flights (there are five of us going), flying with Delta from Heathrow direct which is quite a new route for them. Last time we were there was about 12 years ago, and we were lucky to see a Shuttle Launch - just staggering to watch, hear and feel! Just when you think something couldn't get louder it suddenly does! We've got a week in Orlando, then a week down in Cape Coral. So it's a week doing the parks (with a rest day, which is important) and then a week doing the beaches, national parks and hopefully seeing more of the real Florida than the Mickey Mouse Florida.
We've spent a long time planning; the last thing we sorted out was Travel Insurance which we're covered on our House Insurance (Direct Line House Insurance Plus) which has a decent medical and cancellation limit (check what yours is). Funny thing is that when the renewal came through last week we just phoned them up and said we found it cheaper and they knocked £100 off straight away.
Other advice, don't try any jokes or humour on the Imigration Officers; smile sweetly, say "Yes Sir/Madam" or "No Sir/Madam" at the appropriate times and be polite. They've got the power to ruin your holiday as quick as it takes to stamp your passport!
Plan your days, and plan appropriate rest days.
As you have never been before be prepared to have your fingerprints taken (and that goes for all over 16 IIRC) and to have a grilling from passport control about your stay.
I haven't been to Florida but have done LA and Vegas, loved it! food is excellent (even the fast food joints) and there is always lots of it
I do have to agree security is tight and lots of them do look like guns for hire mercenaries and most don't have a sense of humour - trust me I know (I tried making a joke with passport control officer and by the look on his face I'm surprised he didn't shoot me on the spot!)
Either way have fun and watch out for the crocs
steer clear of saying
"well the chances of there being two bombs on a plane are a billion to one, so i thought if i carried one on i'd be lowering the risk for everyone".
"i dont know how that cocaine got in ther.....oh yes sorry my name is"
Thanks for all the tips guys
we fly home a day before the shuttle goes up, which were kicking ourselves about, gutted big time! Were staying in a villa about 6 mins fom disney, got the esta forms, travel insurance, passports are good, got both parts for my driving license.
only query is my phone, i have a samsung galaxy s from tesco mobile and will be using copliot sat nav on it, which isnt data connection dependant, buf if i picked up a payg sim when we arrive will it just work in the phone? will need to have a phone on us to keep in touch with the rest of the group etc
When we arrived in the States on the Queen Mary in 1966, my father was ill with what turned out to be pneumonia, and my mother had two small kids (3 & 6) and a Siamese cat to deal with. When immigration goon asked "Do you intend to overthrow the lawful govt of the USA?"
"Does it look like it?" wasn't an appropriate response.
On the way back we saw the launch of the second Skylab crew from the VIP area. Stunning. Quite literally slack-jaw stunning. The crews were sent up on Saturn 1Bs, not the even huger Saturn 5s, and the ground was shaking several miles away.
Get up early, which isn't too hard a habit to get into due to the time difference anyway, get to the parks as soon as you can and go straight for the ride you're looking forward to most. You can get on Splash Mountain three times in half an hour if it's the first thing you go to. Normally me, my daughter and father-in-law pace off to get there ASAP whislt the wife and mother-in-law amble behind to wait for us
Take sunhats and suncream, sunstroke is less fun than being stabbed in the eye with a plastic spork.
Eat a corndog. They are delicious.
Go to Typhoon Lagoon, world's greatest wave machine. Take plasters for your knees afterwards.
And if you have a day, go on a swamp boat ride. We drove about an hour away from International Drive to get to one properly out in the sticks and it was just beautiful.
And don't forget your camera charger!
We went out in Summer '09 for a fortnight, going out again this summer for 3 weeks as a final blowout, last time we'll be able to go with the wife's parents as they're getting on a bit now and won't be able to enjoy the coasters for much longer. Can't wait
on my wave length mac
mac_shinobi (17th March 2011)
Monsters Inside Me : Animal Planet
Where people are eating sushi and the raw fish / sea food has parasites etc etc
Insurance ( as usual ) and other then that hope you have a good time
Some photos etc would be good
Go to the local supermarket before you go into these attractions and buy as much food and drink as you need and hide it in your rucksacks . Food once in these attractions can be very expensive especially if there's a lot of you in your party. When I took the wife and kids 23 years ago I was buying 24 cokes for a $1 ( by the case from the supermarket) It was a $1 a coke once inside.
Another thing we did at the all you can eat breakfast hotel on International drive we would help ourselves to as much fruit and rolls as we could and take them with us to eat later before we set out for the attractions, when you have 3 kids it saves a lot of cash.
Have fun it's a great trip and don't mess with anyone out there they carry guns. Oh and watch out for the State Troopers on the highways they were everywhere when I went.
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